Hawaiian Airlines has new prices, plans new interisland routes - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian Airlines has new prices, plans new interisland routes

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

In hopes of filling more flights Hawaiian Airlines is lowering its interisland prices and you don't need a Hawaii ID to get the deal.  The new price structure went into affect earlier today.  It's different from the package plans they announced in December that targeted frequent flyers.  This one is open to everyone.

Hawaiian Airlines already shuttles thousands of people between the islands everyday but they want to take even more, specifically the recreational traveler.  So they've lowered their everyday fare.  The lowest one way interisland flight now starts at $65.  That's about $15 less than before.  Of course there are only a limited number of the cheap seats.

The amount of $65 seats varies by flight, time and passenger load.  There are 10 price levels on a flight starting with the cheapest fare up to first class.  Hawaiian executives say the price elevates only slightly as the plane fills up. In some cases the increments go up $5.

"By filling the empty seat, every time an airplane leaves with an empty seat that's no revenue to us and that inventory can't be saved and sold again tomorrow so if we can fill some of those empty seats we think this will end up being good for our business but also good for our customers," said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.

"It's nice that they're thinking about guys like me and my whole family. I have little ones and a wife and we like to get off the island and mix it up a little bit and if the price comes down we can afford to travel more, bottom line," said Adam Harms, who is a carpenter on the Big Island.

"I think it gives people options, that's the most important thing and people right now because of our economy want options," said Daniel Caluya, a charter school principal from the Big Island. "As a school administrator I think it's very important we have options. Last minute travel, coming back to our islands but also another thing I think is important is our relatives, our kupuna, our seniors and being able to get on a plane and visit our relatives so I think this is a good thing to answer your question."

Hawaiian also announced it's signed a letter of intent with a confidential subsidiary carrier to fly turbo propeller planes to new cities.  Details are still being finalized but it could add three to six prop planes with fewer than 50 seats.  They may go to places where there is already big change, like Lanai.

"It might be an interesting time in Lanai," said Ingram.  "Because it's not economically feasible to operate our jet aircraft we're not operating today to Lanai, Molokai, West Maui and those are the sorts of places we would be considering."

Ingram says the expansion has been in the works for years and insists the timing is coincidental with the sale of Lanai to billionaire Larry Ellison.

It may be a few more weeks before the new turbo prop plane routes are officially announced.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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